RECAP: 2017 NCAA Division I Pre-National Invitational
The Pre-National Invitational wrapped up a busy weekend of racing in NCAA Division I Cross Country.
When the dust settled at E.P. "Tom" Saywer Park in Louisville, Kentucky, the BYU men and Oregon women rolled to the team titles, while BYU’s Rory Linkletter and New Hampshire’s Elinor Purrier captured individual honors.
2017 Pre-National Invitational
|Men’s Standings||Pts||Women’s Standings||Pts|
|#2 BYU||41||#2 Oregon||63|
|#7 Colorado||118||#1 Colorado||91|
|#8 Oregon||129||#9 Arkansas||148|
|#12 Virginia Tech||148||#19 Utah State||214|
|#24 Ole Miss||193||#4 Michigan||235|
Newsflash: BYU is for real.
Behind Rory Linkletter’s individual title, the second-ranked Cougars systematically dismantled another top-ranked field. BYU put five runners in the top-15 less than 18 seconds apart from each other and won by 77 points over No. 7 Colorado in the Men’s Seeded Race.
No. 8 Oregon finished third in the team standings, while No. 12 Virginia Tech and No. 24 Ole Miss rounded out the top-5.
Linkletter won in 23:08.4 and five seconds later, Connor McMillan was the second Cougar to cross the finish line in sixth place. Casey Clinger (seventh) came in right behind McMillan and then Clayton Young (12th) and Daniel Carney (15th) completed BYU’s scoring lineup.
The Buffs were the only other team to have three or more runners in the top-15. Joe Klecker took ninth, while Ryan Forsyth and Eduardo Herrera finished 11th and 14th, respectively.
That top-end depth allowed Colorado to squeak past Oregon for the runner-up spot. The Ducks flew together in the top-30 as their scoring lineup finished 17-24-28-29 and 31st.
Virginia Tech’s Peter Seufer nabbed second individually, two seconds behind Linkletter. Campbell’s Amon Kemboi took third, Liberty’s Azaria Kirwa fourth, Utah State’s Dillon Maggard fifth, Georgetown’s Jonathan Green eighth and Houston’s Brian Barraza 10th.
Don’t anoint Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer and Colorado the individual and team champions at NCAAs just yet. New Hampshire’s Elinor Purrier and Oregon might have something to say about that after the Women’s Seeded Race.
Purrier outkicked Schweizer down the stretch for the individual crown and the Ducks toppled the Buffs by 28 points in the team standings.
The race for the individual title whittled down to five women by the 5K split: Colorado’s Dani Jones, Kansas’ Sharon Lokedi, Oregon’s Katie Rainsberger as well as Purrier and Schweizer. All five were within one second of each other at that point.
Purrier and Schweizer pulled away as Jones settled for third, Rainsberger came in fourth and Lokedi dropped to eighth. Eastern Kentucky’s Charlotte Imer worked her way up to fifth.
Oregon all but locked up the team title through three runners as Rainsberger, Lilli Burdon (seventh) and Carmela Cardama Baez (15th) crossed the finish line ahead of Colorado’s second runner. Jessica Hull (16th) and Emma Abrahamson (30th) rounded out the Ducks’ scoring lineup.
No. 9 Arkansas took third in the team standings, while No. 19 Utah State continued to open up eyes with a fourth-place finish. No. 4 Michigan ended up in fifth place behind two teams it was ranked above in the most recent National Coaches’ Poll.